Monday evening 10 houseless people spoke during the whole 30min public comment period demanding an end to the Camping (aka Survival) Ban, real housing, and humane treatment (watch video here). When more people with experience of houslessness and criminalization stood up and kept speaking, City Council president Gilmore said there was no time to hear the people because the meeting had to go on. Then every single council member, except for Councilwoman CdeBaca, walked out of the chambers so they would not have to listen to the community directly affected with the Survival Ban – which council has the power to repeal.
Over 50 people took over the Council Chambers for the next hour, holding our own public comment for all to speak and be heard. Houseless people continued to speak of the devastating effects of the Survival Ban, police abuse, and made desperate cries for housing. Others, such as Annie Kurtz of American Friends Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), spoke also about the legal nightmare this law is. You can watch the full livestream, including when Council walks out (though audio quality is not great!).
City Council re-started their meeting an hour later, making it clear they never actually cared as much about delay in the meeting as they did about not listening to the houseless community.
See some of the news coverage of the action below –
The week of action continues all week… Sweeps already happened this morning, displacing a large group of houseless people with nowhere to rest.
Wednesday more sweeps and community potluck… And don’t forget Friday and Saturday’s big events. (see details attached)
We will be heard. 10 Years Too Many.
Housekeys Action Network Denver
Towards rights, dignity, housing…